This box office flop is only Indian film in 25 best films of 21st century; not 3 Idiots, RRR, Lagaan, Devdas, Baahubali

This box office disappointment featuring a superstar is the only Indian film in British Film Institute's list of 25 best films of the century

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This box office flop is only Indian film in 25 best films of 21st century; not 3 Idiots, RRR, Lagaan, Devdas, Baahubali
Anjali Patil in Kaala

The British Film Institute is one of the most prestigious film institutions in the world. The BFI routinely comes up with lists and compilations of the best cinema from around the world. Its publication – Sight and Sound – came out with its 2024 issue recently, where it got leading critics to compile a list of the 25 best films of the 21st century. Only one Indian film made it to this list and it’s not a title many predicted.

The only Indian film in BFI’s best films of the century

Sight and Sound’s Films of the Century has 25 films from the first 25 years of the 21st century (2000-2024). The publication got 25 critics to pick 25 films – one from each year – which they thought exemplified the 21st century and defined the era they were in. Several critically acclaimed films like Oldboy, Artificial Intelligence, Get Out, and A History of Violence made it to the list. The only Indian film – however – was Rajinikanth-starrer Kaala. The Pa. Ranjith film was released in 2018 and also starred Nana Patekar, Eswari Rao, Huma Qureshi, Samuthirakani, Pankaj Tripathi, and Anjali Patil. Made on a budget of Rs 140 crore, Kaala earned Rs 159 crore and was considered a below average performer by many trade insiders. Kaala, starring Rajinikanth in the title role, tackled issues like caste oppression and land grabbing, and while it was praised for its performances, action, and soundtrack, the pacing received criticism.


The films that Kaala beat

Kaala represented 2018 in Sight and Sound’s list of best films, which means that it beat some stellar, groundbreaking films from across the world that year, including Black Panther, Bohemian Rhapsody, Roma, Green Book, Andhadhun, and Mahanati to name a few.

Overall, Kaala being the only representative from India in the list also surprised many fans, given that several Indian films have won laurels overseas since 2000. Lagaan famously reached the Oscars and RRR even won. Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Devdas premiered at Cannes as did Ritesh Batra’s Lunchbox. Films like Baahubali, My Name Is Khan, 3 Idiots, and Dangal all received praise and commercial success overseas, but none of them made it to this list.

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